57 Followers
36 Following
jenryland

jenryland

Chemistry - Jodi Lamm As a YA book blogger, I get pitched a lot of books to review, and I chose Chemistry for three reasons. First, it's a retelling of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and I love retellings. Second, the story is retold as a contemporary, and I love contemporary YA fiction. And third, the sample that Jodi sent me had a strong narrative voice, and I love sarcastic, snarky characters.What did I think? Overall, I really enjoyed Chemistry. Jodi is a talented writer and narrator Claude's voice remains strong and distinct throughout. I have never read The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and think that a greater familiarity with the source material might have helped me enjoy Chemistry more. My impression (and I could be wrong!) is that this retelling is a close one. I'm not sure that every aspect of the original 19th century story and its characters' actions and psychological motivations remain completely believable in a 21st century context. As a result, some things -- a pet goat? -- seemed a little surreal when translated to modern times. On the plus side, I had no idea what was going to happen even up until the end -- and some pretty intense stuff happened! But I loved the fact that the story went way darker than the typical YA. Claude is definitely a complex protagonist. I'm hoping to interview Jodi and find out some more about her authorial choices. This book edges toward NA, with some mature content. But if you enjoy retellings, stories with a lot of dark, dramatic moments, I'd definitely give Chemistry a try. It reminded me a little of Beastly by Alex Flinn -- a retelling, male narrator, and a main character who is a tortured soul.